Democrats are peeved that New York's famously pro-gun-control mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is hosting a fundraiser for Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), given that Brown has a history of supporting gun rights and that his vote in the Senate could make it harder to regulate assault weapons.
"Mayor Mike is known as Wall Street's biggest cheerleader, so it is no surprise that he is raising Wall Street money for Brown," said one Washington Democrat who sometimes has to deal with the mayor and requested anonymity. "It is surprising to see Bloomberg put Wall Street's interests ahead of public safety. Brown has a gun record that makes the NRA blush."
The latter remark was referring to the enthusiastic support Brown received from the National Rifle Association and local gun groups in 2010 because of his gun rights record, including his opposition to the federal assault weapons ban and his refusal to sign on to a bill from Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) to close the gun show loophole in the background check system. An investigation by Bloomberg served to highlight that very loophole after the Gabrielle Giffords shooting in Tucson, Ariz., last year.
After this month's Aurora, Colo., massacre, Brown said that decisions to ban assault weapons should be left up to states.
Still, the Massachusetts senator now has a mixed record on guns, having recently bucked the NRA by opposing a bill that would require cities like New York to respect concealed-carry permits from other places.
"Actually, the biggest reason Mayor Bloomberg is helping is Senator Brown's support on one of our biggest gun issues: opposing concealed-carry reciprocity that would let people with gun permits from rural states like Arkansas carry hidden handguns in New York City," said Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser.
Bloomberg, a billionaire champion of Wall Street, is also surely much more comfortable with Brown's stance on financial institution regulation than he is with that of Brown's opponent, Elizabeth Warren, who conceived and built President Barack Obama's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.